Eurovision TV

Eurovision TV
22
February
2017

Christer Björkman: “I’m thrilled to be back!"

Kyiv, Ukraine

With less than three months to go until the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, plans are proceeding at pace and today it was announced that further staff have joined the team, including Eurovision stalwart and experienced Eurovision producer, Christer Björkman!

Christer has extensive knowledge of the Eurovision Song Contest having been the contest’s show producer in 2013 in Malmö, Sweden and more recently contest producer on SVT's award-winning production of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm. He is also the man responsible for transforming Sweden’s national selection, Melodifestivalen, into the biggest television show of the year in Sweden. Christer will be responsible for producing the look and feel of the stage show for each act, and brings unique experience of the Eurovision Song Contest as he also represented Sweden in the competition in 1992.

Of his appointment, Björkman said "I’m thrilled to be back, working on what is surely the world’s premier music event. I look forward to collaborating with the wonderful team at UA:PBC and I’m sure together we will produce the best contest yet!"

Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, Jon Ola Sand, said "It is pleasing to see these positive steps being taken in the staffing of the core team for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. For example, the appointment of Christer Björkman adds to what is already an excellent production team, and his experience producing the Eurovision Song Contest over several years will be invaluable. Now, with many key positions filled, it is important that the EBU and UA:PBC continue to implement the plans already agreed, and work to the timeline and milestones that were established and approved by the Reference Group to ensure a successful Contest in May."

Core team update

Joining Christer on the core team are Larysa Koval as Commercial Director (who has previously worked on the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest, the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2009 and UEFA Euro 2012), Oleh Zapadniuk as Head of Security (UEFA Europa League 2009 – 2012, UEFA Euro 2012) and Kyrylo Voronin as Event Manager. All are specialists, with long-standing experience in large-scale international projects.

Last week the Host Broadcaster of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, UA:PBC, hosted a press conference where they updated journalists on the latest developments in the organisation of the forthcoming event. The team also updated the journalists present on the latest news concerning ticket sales of which more than 9000 have been sold. Another wave of tickets will go on sale this week via the website of the official ticketing partner concert.ua.

During last week’s press briefing, the team were candid in discussing the challenges of organising the Eurovision Song Contest in Ukraine, as Hanna Bychok, Acting Head of UA: PBC explained; “We fully understand that the international community is watching closely, it is now especially important to present the country to the world and let everybody feel our hospitality”.

Categories: Eurovision TV

22
February
2017

Care for some Turkish delight?

Care for some Turkish delight?

Geneva, Switzerland

Turkey made its debut in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1975 and to date, the country has made 34 appearances. Like neighbouring Greece, the new millennium saw a reversal in Turkey's fortunes at the Eurovision Song Contest and Sertab Erener went on to win in Riga in 2003 with Everyway That I Can. Today we look back at Turkey's ten most successful entries in the competition.

Until Turkey won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2003, the country had only finished in the top ten on three previous occasions. When Sebnem Paker finished third in 1997 with Dinle she had defied the betting odds as according to the late UK commentator, Terry Wogan, Turkey was 100/1 with the bookmakers. Turkey was somewhat of a slow-burner when it came to success at the Eurovision Song Contest.

The 2004 Eurovision Song Contest held in Istanbul was a breakthrough competition featuring the first ever Eurovision Song Contest Semi-Final. The official Eurovision heart logo was also introduced where the flag of the host country came to be the centrepiece of the logo and an official DVD was produced for the first time. You can watch the highlights from this Eurovision milestone in the video below:

The noughties were a time of great success for Turkey and saw the country regularly placing well inside the top ten, often in the top five. Only once did Turkey fail to qualify to the Grand Final.

2012 was the last time that Turkey participated in the Eurovision Song Contest. Broadcaster TRT continues to be a member of the European Broadcasting Union and has the right to return to the contest in the future. Perhaps they will return one day and give us some more Turkish delight?

Categories: Eurovision TV

19
February
2017

Joci Pápai is Hungary's choice for Eurovision 2017

<div>Joci Pápai is Hungary's choice for Eurovision 2017</div>

Budapest, Hungary

Joci Pápai has won the Hungarian national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, A Dal 2017, with the song Origo and will thus represent Hungary in Kyiv. The sixth edition of the competition saw 30 acts battle for a ticket to Ukraine in May. The winning song was decided by a combination of jury and public votes.

He was both the jury's and the viewers' favourite.

The winner

Joci Pápai, is 35 years old and comes from Tata in Hungary. His first public grand debut was in 2005 when he took part of the show Megasztár. He was eliminated in the consolation rounds but was determined to continue in music. His first bigger success was with the song Ne nézz így rám in 2006 and after that he had several hits, both solo and with the rapper Majka.

The competition

A Dal 2017 consisted of three heats, two semi-finals and a grand final. Read more about the Hungarian selection in our live story feature. The following acts competed in tonight's grand final:

  • Gigi Radics - See It Through
  • Joci Pápai - Origo
  • Gina Kanizsa - Fall Like Rain
  • Soulwave - Kalandor
  • Zävodi + Olivér Berkes - #háttérzaj
  • Leander Kills - Élet
  • Gabi Tóth - Hosszú idők
  • Kállay Saunders Band - 17

Eight acts performed tonight, including András Kállay-Saunders who competed in A Dal for the fifth time. In 2014 he won with the song Running and ended up on a fifth place in Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen. Last year and this year he competed in the Hungarian selection with his band.
Begi Lotfi (Behnam Lotfi) was competing this year together with Gabi Tóth and Freddie Shuman. But in 2012 he was part of the band Compact Disco that won the first edition of A Dal and went to the Eurovision Song Contest in Baku where they ended on 24th place in the final.
20 year old singer Gigi Radics has already competed in A Dal three times now. Her first year was in 2013 when she came on third place behind András Kállay-Saunders and the winner ByeAlex.
Other returning performers in this year's final were Gabi Tóth, Leander Köteles (now in the band Leander Kills) and Olivér Berkes.

The voting

Each member of the jury awarded points to their top four songs which were then combined with the results of the public vote. Members of the jury were:

  • Adrienn Zsédenyi Zséda (award-winning singer)
  • Miklós Both (award-winning composer/guitarist/singer)
  • Károly Frenreisz (founder of the legendary LGT and Skorpió, a legend of Hungarian rock music)
  • Ferenc Molnár Caramel (award-winning singer)

The jury was the same as in previous weeks, and three of them even sat in the panel last year. Caramel was the only newcomer in this year's jury, but he competed in the first edition of A Dal in 2012 with the song Vízió placing second.

Hungary made its debut in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994, achieving a 4th place, which remains the best placing for the country to date. Hungary has qualified for the Grand Final every year since 2011. Last year, Freddie finished 19th with Pioneer in Stockholm.

Categories: Eurovision TV

19
February
2017

Claudia Faniello becomes the 30th Maltese representative at Eurovision

Claudia Faniello becomes the 30th Maltese representative at Eurovision

Ta'Quali, Malta

Claudia Faniello has won the Maltese national selection with the song Breathlessly and will represent Malta in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. 60 songs were shortlisted from the submissions before the final 16 entries were chosen. Claudia Faniello becomes the 30th act to represent Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest.

The final was presented by Daniel Azzopardi and Charlene Mercieca from the Malta Fairs & Conventions Centre in Ta'Quali.

About the show

The show opened with all this year's contestants performing a medley of some of the most popular Maltese Eurovision entries, and in the audience were many of the artists who had performed those original songs.

The 16 competing songs and artists in order of presentation were;

  1. Klinsmann - Laserlight
  2. Raquela - Ray Of Light
  3. Deborah C & Josef Tabone - Tonight
  4. Kevin Borg - Follow
  5. Jade - Seconds Away
  6. Crosswalk - So Simple
  7. Franklin Calleja - Follow Me
  8. Rhiannon Micallef - Fearless
  9. Miriana Conte - Don't Look Down
  10. Shauna - Crazy Games
  11. Janice Mangion - Kewkba
  12. Cherton - Fighting To Survive
  13. Maxine - Bombshell
  14. Richard Edwards - You
  15. Brooke - Unstoppable
  16. Claudia Faniello - Breathlessly

The winner of the Maltese national final, Claudia Faniello, was chosen solely through televoting,and achieved the maximum possible. Whilst the televoting was taking place, the Maltese group the Travellers entertained the audience, and while the votes were being counted Christina Magrin who represented Malta in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2016 performed on stage, and was followed by Ira Losco who was Malta's representative last year in Stockholm with Walk On Water.

About the winner:

Claudia’s career is one big rollercoaster of so many beautiful and different emotions. It kicked off with Malta Song for Europe back in 2006, and throughout opened so many doors for her which led to some really exciting opportunities. She grabbed every opportunity that came along – both personal and professional ones.

In between she has been blessed to experience several musical journeys which have given her the opportunity to work with so many talented people and she also wrote her own music which includes several singles and one album later. Claudia looks back with satisfaction at all the colour music has painted her life with.

Passion, music, and that very same emotion brought her back to the Malta Eurovision song contest stage this year with a song that is very special to her. Breathlessly literally took her breath away from the very first day she listened to it… and it lit the fire inside her with an urge to make a comeback to the contest after her runner up entry – Pure.

She feel Breathlessly captures so many special emotions in just one song. She said that, “If it manages to touch people the way it has touched me, then I will be happy. After all, the most beautiful things in this world need to be felt with the heart.”

The winning song Breathlessly is composed by Philip Vella, Sean Vella and Gerard James Borg

Malta first participated in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1971 and has competed every year since 1991. The country has finished in the top three on four occasions but has yet to win the competition. In November last year Malta hosted the Junior Eurovision Song Contest following the country's second victory in the competition in 2015. Last year Ira Losco, who finished second for Malta in 2002, returned to the contest and finished 12th in the Grand Final with 153 points.

Categories: Eurovision TV

19
February
2017

Kasia Moś flashes her light at Kyiv for Poland

Kasia Moś flashes her light at Kyiv for Poland

Warsaw, Poland

Kasia Moś has won the Polish national selection with the song Flashlight and will represent Poland in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. The winner was selected by a combination of jury and public votes. Kasia Moś beat nine other participants to go on to become the 20th act to represent Poland in the competition.

About Kasia

Kasia was born into a musical family and studied the cello at secondary school. In 2015 she released her first album, Inspiration, for which she wrote the majority of the songs. Kasia has performed in some of the biggest festivals in Poland and played several theatre roles. She already participated in the Polish national final last year with the song Addiction.

The winner was decided by a mix of 50% jury 50% televote. The jury consisted of opera singer Alice Węgorzewska, singers Maria Sadowska and Robert Janowski and musician and composer Wlodek Pawlik Krzesimir Dębski.

Ten songs competed and these became the top three:

  • Kasia Moś - Flashlight
  • Rafał Brzozowski - Sky over Europe
  • Carmell - Faces

During the announcement, Kasia could barely believe that she had won. Once the joyful shock had settled, she could finally go up on stage to perform her song once more.

Prior to the Polish national selection, Martin Fitch, who represented Poland in the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest as Marcin Mroziński said: "2010 was one of the best moments in my life but now it's 2017 and I am back, stronger than ever. I am so happy to be a part of this Eurovision family and even more grateful for all the support I am getting from you. I'll do my best tonight on stage and I will #FightForUs!". In the end he had to settle for a 7th place.

During the show, last year's winner Michał Szpak also performed, as did the famous Polish singer Dorota "Doda" Rabczewska and 2016 Junior Eurovision Song Contest contestant Olivia Wieczorek.

The competition

These were the other participants that competed against Kasia Moś:

  • Martin Fitch - Fight for us

Martin Fitch is the stage name of singer Marcin Mroziński. He was born in Poland in 1985 and began singing at the age of eight. He has performed in several musicals and represented Poland in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2010 with the song Legenda.

  • Carmell - Faces

Carmell is a singer, music composer & lyricist who rose to fame in Poland as part of a music duo MashMish. The group released their debut album with Universal Music Poland which was critically acclaimed. Faces is the latest single from Carmell and she is set to release further solo material later in 2017.

  • Agata Nizińska - Reason

Agata is an actress, singer, songwriter and TV personality in Poland. She is currently working on her first album. The young artist divides her time between theatre and music and finds herself at home in both. More recently she has been working on a project called Madame Spades with her band. Her latest single, and her entry for the Polish selection this year is Reason.

  • Rafał Brzozowski - Sky over Europe

Rafał has been performing professionally since 2002 although has been playing the piano and guitar from the age of eight. He's been a member of several bands over the years and in 2011 he participated in The Voice of Poland. He has released several albums and singles over the years.

  • Isabell Otrębus-Larsson - Voiceless

Isabell Otrebus is 19 years old and was born and raised in Stockholm by Polish immigrants. She started to play the piano at the age of six and speaks fluent Polish and Swedish. Isabell was scouted by Swedish songwriters and producers Fredrik Kempe and David Kreuger, who wrote her song for 2017, Voiceless.

  • Małgorzata Uściłowska (Lanberry) - Only Human

Lanberry is the stage name of Małgorzata Uściłowska, a vocalist and songwriter from Poland. Music has been a part of her life since childhood and in 2012 she released an album called Warsoul Experience which was a collaboration with other artists Wojciech Waglewski, Marika and the rap artist VNM. Lanberry has also participated in The Voice of Poland and X Factor Poland. In 2015 she signed to Universal Music Poland and released her debut solo album last year.

  • Aneta Sablik - Ulalala

Aneta Sablik is a polish singer who was born in 1989. In 2012 she moved to Germany and started her musical career with Kevin Zuber who she went on to marry. In 2013 she won the talent show Deutschland sucht den Superstar. Her song for the 2017 national selection is called Ulalala.

  • Paulla - Chcę tam z tobą być

Paulla's has been singing professionally since 1995 and is famous for her five-octave vocal range. In 2008 she released her first studio album which became a huge hit in Poland and was certified platinum. Her song for 2017 is Chcę tam z Tobą być (I want to be there with you).

  • Olaf Bressa - You Look Good

Olaf is 19 years old and previously participated in Poland's Got Talent. The singer has his roots in reggae music although his song for 2017, You Look Good, is in a completely different style to his usual music. The song was written specifically for him.

Poland made its debut in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994, finishing second, which remains the country's best placing in the competition to date. Poland has qualified for the Grand Final every year since 2014. Last year Michał Szpak finished 8th with Color Of Your Life.

Categories: Eurovision TV

17
February
2017

Greece is the word: Top ten entries

Greece is the word: Top ten entries

Geneva, Switzerland

Greece first entered the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974 but until the country won in 2005, it had only finished in the top five on four occasions. The new millennium saw a reversal in Greece's fortunes in the contest which saw the country achieve its first victory and an unprecedented string of top ten finishes. Today we look back at Greece's ten most successful entries in the Eurovision Song Contest.

When it comes to success in the Eurovision Song Contest, Greece has had mixed results. Whilst the country didn't exactly set the scoreboard alight when it made its Eurovision debut in the 1970s, it achieved consistent results over the decades and to date, has never finished last in the contest.

The turn of the century saw a change in strategy for Greece; the country experimented with different styles of music and different language combinations. Their secret combination worked and in 2005 Helena Paparizou stole the show in Kyiv with My Number One, taking the contest to Greece for the first time ever. From that point, until 2012, Greece placed consistently inside the top ten which was no mean feat given the rapid expansion of the contest over the years.

Since the semi-finals were introduced Greece has only once failed to qualify for the Grand Final. This year the singer Demy will represent the country in Kyiv. Her song will be revealed in the coming weeks. Who knows, maybe she will feature in the top ten Greek entries after the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest?

Check out the ten most successful Greek entries below:

Categories: Eurovision TV

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